How to Get Away with Murder review: The spiral begins


How to Get Away with Murder isn’t back in its semi-decent form just yet, but this is a step forward after last week’s disappointing return.

It’s unusual for a title drop to come within the opening scene, but Michaela handles it by requesting of Oliver, “Don’t Go Dark on Me.” It plays well with the sermon Gabriel is listening to as he does push-ups, while also countering Nate, Bonnie, and Frank’s conversation about … How to Get Away with Murder. Unfortunately, the rest of the episode shows that things may be going dark sooner than Michaela may want.

The whole episode is about picking at metaphorical wounds more than physical, with Eve bringing the idea up in her first conversation with Annalise this episode. Bonnie and Nate have to relive the night of Miller’s death, only to realize that Asher needs to be brought into the conspiracy. Indeed, Nate describes how everything plays out even as we see it Monday morning, including Asher acting as though he knows nothing (including to Michaela) and Bonnie dealing with FBI agents. Nate even beats the other prison guard involved in his dad’s death up to hide his bruised knuckles from killing Miller.

The rest of the remaining students can’t stop worrying about Gabriel, only for him to keep showing up … and then admitting who he is to everyone, as well as his purpose. What he doesn’t know is that he’s speaking to the rest of the co-conspirators, although Michaela’s face almost gives the game away at first. Everyone tries to push him off of it in different ways, with Laurel getting teary and Connor and Michaela getting aggressive.

Eve and Annalise, of course, are also picking at each other, in only the way people who have had a long relationship know how to do to each other. It’s equal points tense, with Annalise deflecting and Eve going straight for the gut, and sizzling; Famke Janssen should be a regular on this series, if only because Annalise sniping at Eve about privilege should be a regular occurrence.

Frank, meanwhile, is trying to clean up as best he can for Annalise’s sake, but even a tangential relationship to Sam Keating has to be hurting him, too. He recruits Oliver to look into Gabriel’s mother.

Unfortunately, everything begins to pile up towards the end of the episode. Connor, Oliver, Laurel, and Michaela witness Annalise’s threat to Gabriel as found by Frank. It all centers around Gabriel’s mom. Gabriel’s weird phone call from last episode turns out to have been to Miller, and the FBI knows about it. Nate tells Annalise everything and also comes up with a conspiracy to frame the governor. Bonnie learns that whatever Miller may have done, he might not have gotten Nate’s father killed. Finally, Asher spills that Nate killed Miller to the rest of the students.

As an episode, this one is better than last week’s. It might be a low bar to clear, but it’s a bar. Even though there are certainly moments for feelings, there’s actual movement, though perhaps one too many plans for one episode. It’s still not the How to Get Away with Murder of memory, but it’s closer.

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Random thoughts:

  • Oliver opens some of the wedding gifts without Connor, and the episode could have used some cuteness.
  • Frank ships Annalise and Eve, which is adorable.
  • Michaela being unable to let Nate Sr.’s case go will almost certainly backfire.
  • In praise: Matt McGorry can do strain in some subtle expressions.
  • Timothy Hutton is actually a regular, and Amirah Vann is, too. It’s nice to see them back, even for the brief scenes that they get in the episode. Their banter about Annalise, as well as the potential to pick up the wrongful death suit, will probably pay off later.